January 2019 Ask Me Anything

I might do these periodically! The new “questions” feature on Instagram Stories makes it really easy for folks to ask me questions and it can remain anonymous. I recently did one and I got so many good and frequently asked questions, I thought I would post it here! If you have any questions that weren’t addressed here, feel free to leave a comment or email me!

 

ask me anything

New Year AMA (Ask Me Anything)

 

What medicine do you take for your Thyroid?

My specific issue is that my Reverse T3 is higher than my T3. My TSH and T4 levels are fine. What my doctor gave me was T3, only 5mg/ day. I am taking that, but also am taking steps to figure out the root cause of that imbalance. The goal is to remedy that root cause and not be on the T3 prescription long term. I am working with Dr. Becky Campbell, author of The 30 Day Thyroid Reset to figure this out. We’ve done a SIBO test and a Gut Map Stool Test, we are yet to go over the results.

 

What do I think about the celery juice craze that’s going on?

I think Anthony Williams, the Medical Medium has helped a lot of people. Whether it’s correlation or causation, I don’t know. I mean, anytime you get people eating unprocessed foods it’s going to help. But I don’t buy into magic pills, even in the form of celery juice. Could it help with some things? I mean, it can’t hurt. While I like my share of woo-woo things, from my understanding, he talks to dead people or spirits that tell him these healing things…  I don’t know if I can get behind that.

 

Low budget here, need one good food processor with wicked power!

Hmmm…. I am a die-hard Vitamix fan and have used those blenders for decades. I am hearing good things about the Instant Pot Ace Blender though, could be a more affordable option.

What’s a good coconut sub? My 4-year-old can’t have coconut but we need to stay AIP.t3.

For coconut milk, there aren’t many AIP options to sub, but you can make your own tiger nut milk. I don’t know what the consistency is like because I haven’t made it myself. In savory sauces, you can do a cauliflower cream or a base of steamed veggies blended with bone broth to thicken sauces or soups. As for coconut flour, tiger nut or cassava flour are your best bet.

 

What’s your go-to dish on a busy weekday?

Sheet pan meals, usually roasted veggies, and a protein. Or taco bowls. I love ground beef with cauliflower rice, cilantro and avocado.

 

How do you find motivation? I’m in the cycle of brain fog and exhaustion and can’t find the energy.

Start small. Try to sticks to simple meals and avoid your trigger foods. Sleep and take care of yourself as best as you can. Avoid sugar and over caffeinating to compensate for the fatigue. Energy will come eventually.

 

I would love to know more about what you’re studying right now?

I’m enrolled in the Nutritional Therapy Association’s Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Certification program. It’s a 9-month online course with 3 in person, 3-day workshops. It’s very comprehensive, the curriculum covers digestion, blood sugar regulation, hydration, mineral balance, fatty acids… we also learn about the evolution of the modern diet, how to do a functional evaluation and how to work with our clients to discover their bio individual nutritional needs and give proper dietary, lifestyle and sometimes supplement recommendations to help them.

 

How’s your NTA program going?

It’s going really well. I’m learning a lot and my prior experiences I the field play really well into the curriculum. I have a lot of new questions too. I am eager to connect all the dots! Luckily I know a lot of smart people that I can learn from and bounce ideas off of.

 

How much time per day do you dedicate to your NTP course?

I don’t do school work daily, but I a lot about 20 hours a week to it. Usually 3 days a week.

 

NTP vs NTC, I want to have an online presence but I want the in person functional training…

A lot of folks I know only do the NTC (nutritional therapy consultant), because yes, if you’re only doing online coaching you won’t be seeing clients in person- but I do want to see clients in person. Online too, but I really love the functional evaluation and that can only be done in real life. Either way, I think the information you learn in the program really arms you with so many resources to help anyone on their way to healing through food.

 

I need all the HS Tips!

Everyone is different, but from what I can see in the HS (Hidradenitis Suppurativa) circles, groups, threads and more… AIP (autoimmune protocol) and/or keto are most effective for people. Sugar in all forms and nightshades seem to be a VERY common trigger among us.

Find out your trigger foods and avoid them at all costs.

Use non-toxic mild soaps and comfortable, soft clothing.

Apply coconut oil mixed with a drop or two of tea tree or oil of oregano on the affected area (careful with oil of oregano- it’s strong and it may sting).

 

Is there an herb or supplement that helps HS scars heal faster?

If there is, I haven’t found it.

 

When will your second book release? In 2020! I’m so excited to start working on it!

 

What are you looking forward to most in 2019?

Graduating from my NTP program and turning in my second manuscript. Also, traveling! Finally taking a real vacation with Justin this year.

 

Lower GI Help: Cramping and Burning when I have a bowel movement, suggestions?

Find an NTP to work with!  If you want to troubleshoot on your own I would do an elimination diet. Try keeping a food journal and see if you can find a correlation between cramps and painful bowel movements and food choices.

 

What deodorant do you use?

Primally Pure! All day, every day! I am obsessed. Code CASTAWAY10 for 10% off!

 

Must do list for Hawaii?

On Oahu: North Shore to see the sea turtles and the surfers and get some bulletproof coffee at the Sunrise Shack across from Sunset Beach. Must go to Kailua beach, get a kayak if you can and kayak to the Moke’s. Lanikai Pillbox hike,  Koko Head Stairs, Tantalus, drive in the mountains, you can hike there too.

 

I know your big on ancestral health. Have you ever explored genetics (ie. MTHFR mutation)?

I did my 23 and Me with the genetics and my doctor has tested for all that stuff too. I don’t have the MTHFR.

 

I just want to say THANK YOU for the seriously amazing resources you put out!

THANK YOU!

 

What protein powder do you suggest?

I like Equip Prime Protein or Paleo Pro. I’m also going to make my own soon! Stay tuned for the recipe.

 

Has your hair always been so thick and beautiful? Mine is just starting to grow back in.

I’ve always had a lot of hair, but it hasn’t always been healthy. I lost a lot of hair after my pregnancy, and when my autoimmune stuff flares bad my scalp gets very scaly. I had an allergic reaction to antibiotics once and lost a fistful of hair, a quarter-sized chunk came right out of my scalp, it was scary. But I truly believe that when nutrient deficiencies are addressed, leaky gut is healed and hormones are balanced…. Hair health will optimize.

 

Do you know the links between having carbs and our monthly cycles and having carbs during certain times of the month?

During your luteal phase, ovulation to day 1 of your cycle, we need around 200 more calories than usual, and often that comes in the form of cravings. The days the body can use more quick energy, like glucose, vs slow burning energy like ketones, are the days when our hormones are flatlined and as such, so is our energy. That is day 28 to day 1 or 2 of your cycle when hormones drop to begin your flow and then again day 16 to 19 depending on when you ovulate, but the post-ovulation hormone drop can also be brutal for energy.

If you are severely insulin resistant, having some carbs on these days for energy might be counterproductive, but for those who don’t get lethargic with safe carb consumption, it works well. I intuitively do this.

 

Fastest keto dinners that kids will love?

The lazy moco from my cookbook! Also the London broil and brussel sprout recipe from the blog. Another favorite is hamburger soup, also on the blog.

 

What bloggers/Instagrammers are influential to you?

@peaceloveandlowcarb

@healthfulpursiut

@tastyyummies

@thewholekitchensink

@realfoodbymars

@dianesanfilipo

@stephgaudreau

@drjolenebrighton

@alimillermd

@feedfeed

@food52

 

Curious about your current stance on Whole30?

I think the program works for those who need hard and fast rules, black and white, to get out of a rut or as a reset or elimination diet, as it’s meant to be. I think it can get away from people, they don’t do proper reintroductions or adopt lifelong habits but instead fall into a cycle of using Whole30 to yo-yo. It was useful to me, and definitely a big part of my healing journey- but after 6 rounds I learned that separating food and emotion doesn’t work for me, also that it wasn’t dark chocolate or the occasional treat that drove my sugar dragon it was insulin resistance. So, I think the program helped me in the sense that I outgrew it, I think you’re supposed to eventually.

 

What are your best tips for amazing winter salads?

Ooooh! Good one! Seasonal produce! Citrus is a winter fruit. I love grilled orange segments or citrus dressings. I also like adding a warm component to my salads in the winter like warm grilled fish or steak, maybe some toasted nuts or roasted cauliflower rice.

 

How long did it take you to quit alcohol when you began changing your lifestyle?

It took almost a year to finally realize that wine or the occasional cocktail wasn’t worth it for me. Now, 2 years of pretty much no booze at all, I can have the occasional drink, but no more than 2 or 3 or again, not worth it.

 

How do you determine your macros on keto?

I don’t track anymore, I am really, truly becoming more and more convinced that eating intuitively is the way to go. However, like the Whole30 question, I think that some people, at some point in their journey, need the structure or rules to figure it out. So…

I like to start with protein, at .5 to 1 gram per pound of body weight. Lower end if you’re not active, higher end if you are. That’s a goal. From there you add your carb limit. Somewhere between 30 to 50 grams of total carbs a day. So you have your protein goal, your carb limit, now the rest of your calories will come from fat. Add fat to your meals or choose fatty cuts of meat etc. Eat to satiety, or you can just aim for 100-150 gram of fat a day, that works for most people, from there adjust accordingly, less or more as you see fit.

 

How to “let it flow” emotionally (I keep hearing advice about saying in the flow)?

Don’t let people tell you how you should feel. I have no idea what “they” mean my “let it flow”…. But it implies something that happens organically, so, I don’t think you can force it. Repetition creates habit and habits can flow I guess… so maybe they mean, finding your groove or getting used to things. Everything in life takes practice, even a healthy lifestyle or positive thoughts.

 

How to get past SAD food addict relapse post-AIP, even when physical pain is caused.

Get back to the basics. Maybe the AIP triggered some disordered eating patterns. Try to focus on what makes you feel food and getting your mindset right. Forget guilt or shame around food choices or looking at foods as compliant or not compliant. Keep it simple. Pick foods you enjoy and that make you feel good, try eating in a relaxed state and be mindful of chewing slowly and being present with each meal. Check out my TLC Challenge! 

Hope you enjoyed these! Any questions that weren’t listed, drop them in the comments!

Growing Up Fat: How I Experience the Health and Wellness Space

*explicit language warning*

More and more I am becoming aware of how growing up fat has shaped who I am today and how I experience the world around me. I know, what a sad thought, that my life has been lived through this filter, that I would experience things differently had I not been overweight.

big baby

First, let me say that I didn’t always know I was fat, and I think before then, life was lived on the same plane as my siblings.

However, at some point in my childhood, it was made very clear to me that:

1- I was fat.

2- It’s not a good thing.

Now, let’s call that what it is, bullshit. Because a persons size isn’t good or bad, it just is and if said person is happy and thriving it’s none of our damn business what they eat or how they look.

cristina curp child

However, as a child, this was my reality. I was fat, fat wasn’t good, I was less than. This sensation of not being good enough was the theme of my life. I talked too much, I took up too much space, I wasn’t worthy of the real estate.

 

The details of how I became to believe these things is fuzzy. Could it have been TV, telling me that fat is bad? Could it have been a kid in school making fun of me? Could it have been an observation? Comparing my body to my sister’s and seeing the difference, noticing the small, subconscious behavior of those around us?

This is important for people to understand, yes, you are treated differently when you are fat. Not all the time, but often enough and it’s very apparent when it happens. It always leaves a little mark on you. Like an invisible scar.

Growing up fat,  as a kid, I wasn’t picked first to be on anyone’s team. I couldn’t borrow or share clothes with my sisters or girlfriends. I didn’t want to go shopping with them as it was hard to find my size in most of the stores they went to. Growing up fat meant not having a boyfriend in the 5th grade or a crush. It meant acting uninterested in the boys in my class because I knew they were not interested in me. It was being guarded because the rejection was imminent. Growing up fat meant limitation, can’t wear that, can’t do that, shouldn’t eat that.

It was being a friend and not the girlfriend. It was overhearing conversations about you and not identifying with the person being described. It was being heartbroken a million times. It was being left out. It was being publicly humiliated or even worse, being invisible.

How does someone who grew up hurting, someone who still holds on to those scars, how do we move forward? How do we heal? How do you begin to love a body the world has taught you to hate?

fit plus size

This is where shit gets weird, but stay with me… you don’t have to love your body to be happy. You don’t have to love all of your body to be happy. You can appreciate it, honor it, be thankful you are alive.

But the pressure to love yourself, that’s just it…MORE PRESSURE FROM AN OUTSIDE SOURCE. Keyword: OUTSIDE.

 

Every article about calorie deficits screams at you that you eat too much. Every picture of a very fit, and conventionally attractive woman telling you to love your body subliminally saying… but only if you look like me. Every study on obese people, and chart and doctor and well-meaning health guru saying that you’re wrong, a mistake, that you will die young because of your weight.

self love

What? Like I’ve never not been fat, so I’m this walking talking poster child for disease and death?!?!?! GTFOOOOOOO!!! Nope. All that crap, it’s all making you buy into diet dogma. It’s all part of that big money-making machine that keeps you buying books, and products and programs so you can “fix yourself.” Goal number one: get to a place where you feel confident enough to walk away, to tune it out, to say…. You’re not talking to me. Not today Satan, not today! So… how do we get there…?

 

How do I learn to love myself (even if that doesn’t include loving my figure)?

That is the kicker. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not a line you cross and never go back. It’s a muscle, you have to grow it, flex it, work it out. Sometimes you forget how and you need to re-learn.

self love

Hate is like a drug, you need to wean off and sometimes you will relapse. Self-hate likes to control you. It’s seductive. It lets you give up on yourself. It lets you listen to the messages you are constantly flooded with. It taps into your need to fit in, your need to be part of the tribe, your need to survive. That doubt, the knot in the back of your throat, it’s addicting. We love to torture ourselves with the what ifs, the one days the if only.

 

This is the thing, that space, the self-loathing, doubting, hypothetical space, it thrives off of your fear. It keeps you picking yourself apart because staying there is safer… safer than going out and living the life you want.

 

Dreaming but never going after it, that’s the safe space. Because if you don’t try, you don’t fail. But if you don’t fail you don’t learn and if you don’t learn you don’t evolve.

 

Listen, it’s not easy and it’s not painless and it sure as hell isn’t a straight line, cut and dry or even tangible… but LIVING YOUR LIFE with integrity, with self-love with self-worth…WE ALL DESERVE THAT. WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF IT.

 

So going back to your body body… because after all, we do live in these vessels right? I have a theory! Once you really flex those Zen muscles. You work on just being happier because hot damn, you are ALIVE today. Because you CHOSE to give ZERO FUCKS about social media, the Kardashian’s and whoever else makes you feel like you are not good enough. That is a choice.

weight loss

Start by clearing up your feed. I only follow people who make me feel good.

And if I have to unfollow that one account with the really cute girl who is always posting self-love messages from the gym with her perfect hair, and makeup and outfit and it’s all a little too glamour shots to be real and omg it triggers some shit… .…. then unfollow!!!!

Just because an account is a self-described #selflove #bodypositive guru or whatever, doesn’t mean that they SPEAK TO YOU. Find your people. Surround yourself with messages that give you the warm and fuzzies, that put some pep in your step.

 

Now… if once you get your ish in order. You’re feeling pretty good about life. You fully appreciate this body of yours even if you don’t love it. Like you’re cool, you’re on speaking terms. Great. You have compassion and all that. Now, and only now are you truly ready to take on the tremendous commitment to lifestyle changes that may result in body composition changes.

 

Note: LIFESTYLE CHANGES THAT MAY RESULT IN BODY COMPOSITION CHANGES.

 

These words are chosen very carefully. Here’s why: DIETS DON’T WORK. Also, if you have been overweight since forever, or a really long time, you may diet and see results and then you will gain all the ish back and earn yourself some metabolic damage too. So!

self love

You buckle in for the long haul. Commit to starting by making healthy choices that work for you, that make you feel your best. Wanting to change the way you look isn’t a bad thing. You’re not a shitty person and you aren’t failing at self-love.

 

But you know what IS SHITTY? Constantly complaining or wishing or expecting something to change without actually changing anything! I tell people this all the time, NOTHING WILL CHANGE IF YOU DON’T CHANGE.

Y’all… clear as day: YOUR BEHAVIOR, your actions, YOUR CHOICES are everything.

 

So on that note: EPIGENETICS. Gene expression. With how we live, eat and think we are telling our genes how to express. While humans haven’t evolved in 10,000 years, we have turned on or off some switches. Moral of the story: we all have some rad DNA that wants to be healthy, that wants to thrive, we just have to act in a way that lets our genes express that optimally.

My Healing Story: AIP and Keto and Self Love

And here is where I go from woo-woo to actionable.

 

  • Treat yo self right. That includes eating right. And eating right means eating whole foods, unaltered ingredients, properly prepared. Eat enough to fuel your body. Move your body. Walk, stretch, yoga, cross fit, ride your bike, swim… move however you can. Fuel your body enough to balance hormones, to repair, to give you energy.
  • Don’t overeat. No binging. No starving. Fuel your body properly. The message to not overeat is not a pass to under eat. It’s really not that complicated. But we need to kick binge eating habits. Make sure you get sufficient calories in your body. Eating whole foods and avoiding hyperpalatable processed foods will eventually get your hunger signals working properly again. Aim to eat satisfying meals so you can go 3-5 hours between them, ideally. So load up your plate baby.
  • Quality matters. I’m sorry, drive-thruhru free pass here. I call it like it is. Crap food is crap food and you can make all the excuses you want for the reasons “YOU NEED TO EAT IT SOMETIMES” but that’s exactly what they are, excuses. Plus, this high calorie, low nutrient food messes with hunger signals. Leaves you nutritionally starving. No one, ever, needs McDonald’s. You will invest time in cooking and shopping. You will have to learn to cook. Facts. It doesn’t work without that, unless you can afford a private chef.

 

Feeling good about your choices, how you are living your life. Honoring your body by nourishing it can really heal a lot of the wounds of the past. I used to binge eat when I left like shit about being fat. Smart right? But that was it, food was my comfort, but it was also a form of self-harm. I spent so much time feeling ashamed of food, ashamed of what I hate, how much I hate. A vicious cycle of shame, guilt and punishment. So when I wanted to lose weight I would starve myself. I would do these crazy diets. Take pill, wraps, teas. People….I TRIED IT ALL.

 

What I learned about myself and learned about a lot of people in this community… Food is only the beginning.

So with this post, I hope to inspire you to look inward first. To come from a place of compassion with yourself. To mend some of those wounds of the past before you jump into weight loss goal-oriented lifestyle changes. No matter how I look somedays I still feel like a fat little girl. Inside, I often still hurt and doubt,  I work really hard to overcome that, and it’s an ongoing process. But along the way, with a healthy lifestyle, by having energy and balanced hormones that help stabilize my mood on a chemical level I am better equipped to deal with the emotional baggage that I carry.

I get it. I am you. I have felt every pang, every hit, every time someone made you feel less than because of how you looked. I carry those memories with me still, they are etched in my brain. I used to think that when I got healthy, that when I lost weight they would magically go away, or not bother me anymore. They’re still there. But you know what, those memories don’t define me and I feel stronger. I know that if was in the same situation I would stand up for myself. Although we don’t get re-dos in life, we do get chances, and I urge you to take this chance to live the life you want.

 

Taking responsibility for my own actions vs. deflecting all blame and letting life happen to me.

Committing to educating myself, putting in the work, reading the labels, Googling shit, truly taking ownership of my own body and what I put in it. Not expecting handouts, free rides, passes or for any of this to be easy, because it’s not. Knowing that if you have made it this far, that if you have survived the trauma, the bullying, the emotional abuse from peers and family members that you are strong AF and you can do this. Your scars don’t make you broken, they make you bulletproof.

 

My body has changed, slowly, but it has gotten strong and lean and healthy and the lumps and bumps I used to see when I looked in the mirror… hey, some of them are still there… But I also see a tall, curvy, sexy figure with (omg totally new to me) muscle definition. It’s like seeing my body for the first time, emerging from this physical and psychological baggage I have carried with my entire life.

I stopped comparing my body to other bodies because my body is unique to me. NO one out there has “my dream body” because no one out there has my body. No more comparison. No more looking at magazines and sighing. Know that when you make healthy changes that will sustain your emotional well being, as well as your physical well being you will evolve to have an even deeper appreciation for that miracle that is your body. Thousands of chemical responses, electricity and regeneration, an ongoing eco-system with one purpose, to keep you alive!

 

The magic here is that whether the changes happening are physical or emotional or a little bit of both… I see myself with new eyes.

 

So think of how you see yourself. Think of why you see yourself that way? Has the world hurt you? Do you feel vulnerable, unwanted, scared? I get it. And wanting to change to not feel that way is normal. Remember YOU HAVE THE POWER. How you experience the world is a choice. Choose to fill your life with those who support you and honor you. Find a place of self-love and body neutrality. From there, from a place of peace and compassion, that is when you are primed to make lasting lifestyle changes.

 

You can design the life you want to live and who you want to be. That’s the beauty of this world, there is only ONE YOU, and you decide how you get to live! Take up space, be loud, speak up, wear the red lipstick, by the dress.

You are worthy. You are enough. You are beautiful.

Hormone Rollercoaster: How to work with your cycle, not against it!

Do Calories Matter? (weight loss on a whole food lifestyle)

Eat With Intention: ditch the diet mindset

I get it, sometimes we need all the rules and the structure to get us to a better place. But sometimes, we lean to much on these rules. We thrive in their structure and fall apart our own. Classic helicopter parenting mistake. You have to make your own mistakes, fail- get back up and do it all on your own to really learn.

If you’re ready to let go of the proverbial diet hand and walk on your own two feet into a lifestyle that you can live with…  I challenge you…

#eatwithintention 

 

How is this different than a Whole30 or AIP Keto Reset?

There are no rules here. No restriction. You can eat with intention all the time, you can do so in whichever way you feel the need to.

Resets, elimination diets, detox programs… they have their place. Maybe that is where you are now?

Do you seek a lot of structure, rules, restrictions or parameters to feel in control of your eating or successful in your efforts? That’s cool. We need that sometimes. That’s why SHORT TERM… 21, 30-day programs are PERFECT for you.

Once you’ve graduated from that phase in your life and your healing… sometimes you are jiving with your food freedom and you feel good. But you still yearn for that purpose. It feels kinda nice to be mission oriented… or you know… life happens… food is just food and sometimes we lose sight of our goals or just get a little careless.

Which, guess what? IS A-OKAY! You don’t have to live your life always working on eating a certain way. But sometimes you’re in the upside down… or you know… that in-between phase.

You have been in your groove for a while, but you still have some goals. You like to keep some pep in your step. You still have in the back of your mind that feeling of… what if one day it all goes off the rails, the whole ship burns down…. Or not… you’re human. We all are.

Keto vs. Paleo

So what is this eat with intention thing?

 

We all have to eat. So instead of looking toward rules or restrictions, I challenge you to be mindful. To create your meals with the intention of ________ (that’s your cue, fill in the blank).

 

Heal.

Grow.

Gains.

Be satisfied.

Eat without fear.

Enjoyment.

Get more greens.

Get more protein.

Eat more colors.

Feel good.

Cook more.

Cook less.

Freedom.

For EXAMPLE… my intention for next month: recover better from workouts and gains so I’m going to be more mindful of protein intake. I also want to optimize gut health and digestion, mitigate some bloating. So I’m going to skip keto sweeteners for now. Not to say that I won’t have sweets (hello dark chocolate). I’ll be eating fermented foods and lots of collagen, bone broth and what not.

My Healing Story: AIP and Keto and Self Love

Intention> Action

 

I can DO all the things. The POWERFUL thing here is my intention to grain muscle and heal my gut by not adding restrictions or rules to my diet. The power here is in the intention, the very thought and belief that what I am doing is what I want and need to do to reach my goals, be happy etc.

 

Intentions over Restriction. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace. Know that you ARE worth it. #eatwithintention 

 

 

 

Thrive Market: Making Healthy Food Affordable

*this post contains affiliate links that help keep Castaway Kitchen afloat*

When Thrive Market first reached out to me I was really interested in learning more about their company. I had watched my friends and fellow bloggers benefit from their Thrive memberships for so long. Yet living in Hawaii, I was ineligible to order, sorry my island friends, they only deliver in the Continental US. Although that might change soon!

 

A little insert in the juicy stuff before we get to the details!

SPECIAL OFFER JUST FOR YOU: 30 DAY FREE TRIAL + 25% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER (ON TOP OF ALREADY KILLER SAVINGS) .. USE THIS LINK: https://thrivemarket.com/thecastawaykitchen

 

So what is Thrive Market?

Thrive Market is an online retailer for all things natural and healthy. The only stock vetted brands. Brands that not only create quality products but also are mindful of the planet, treat their employees well and have a moral compass.

I find a lot of peace of mind in this. I trust Thrive to sort through the many companies seeking to benefit from the health and wellness space, assuring you that when you shop with them, these brands have your best interest at heart.

 

Thrive themselves set the example. For each membership purchased, one is also donated to a veteran, a lo income family, teacher or first responder. Thrive market is dedicated in their mission to make healthy food accessible to ALL families. Access to real food and healthy self-care products is a human right, not a privilege. Join us in the fight to make sure ALL families can afford to care for their families. 

 

Because Thrive market sells these quality goods at 20-50% under retail price, saving you LOADS of money, you also have the option to donate your savings each time your purchase.

grocery savings

 

Where does the money go?

Directly into the account of a sponsored Thrive member. You are directly purchasing food for a family who cant afford it. Pretty epic, impactful stuff. Optional… but impactful!

feed hungry families

 

How Thrive Market works?

 

A small, community-funded company. Thrive market was turned away by all major investors. But because of the passion for helping people and making quality products available to all, Thrive Market came to be. That’s right, WE made it happen!

 

Thrive sells dry goods, pantry staples, snacks and all sorts of paleo, keto, AIP, vegan, gluten free foods. You know those “specialty ingredients” that cost so much at health food stores… yeah…Thrive has them for less.. MUCH LESS. All your favorite health food brands!

 

Not only food, but they have you covered in cosmetics, home, beauty, and health. A one stop shop for your healthy living needs

 

There is an annual membership fee of $50 (which you will make back in savings in no time). But remember you can TRY IT FOR FREE (CLICK HERE). There are no shipping charges for orders over $49 and all orders ship promptly. For more FAQ’s, head HERE.

What Kind of Things Can I Buy on Thrive Market?

Anything from pantry staples to toothpaste, a tongue scraper, pet supplies, vitamins, homeopathic remedies and more!

I’ve complied a Made Whole Thrive Shopping List for you! All my favorite Paleo-Keto, AIP friendly pantry staples that I use to make food taste AMAZING!

Remember you get a 30-day FREE TRIAL, and an EXTRA 25% off your first order. This is a CASTAWAY EXCLUSIVE deal! 

 

These are the Thrive Staples you will need for Made Whole, this same list was closer to $300 when purchased via Amazon Prime!

made whole cookbook

 

MADE WHOLE SHOPPING

 

affordable healthy food

 

Keto Hamburger Soup (Dairy Free, Paleo, Whole30, Nightshade Free)

Cheesy Cauliflower and Crispy Steak Casserole (Dairy Free, Keto, Paleo, Whole30)

Staying On Track On The Road (Healthy Keto Travel Hacks)

healthy keto travel hacks
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How I survive traveling for 10 days on an AIP Keto Lifestyle? Here are my best healthy keto travel hacks!

As many of you know, I just went on a book tour for my first ever book, Made Whole!

One thing about being on the road and finally getting to meet so many of you in person is that not only did I want to feel my best, but I wanted to look my best! Yes, the pressure of making a first, in real life, good impression is so real.

While some things I could not foresee or control, like my chapped lips from the dry West Coast weather, I was overall really impressed with how well I fared.

No weight gain, no bloating, no flares. Mental clarity. High energy. Good sleep!

So how did  I do it? 

  • Planning + Fasting
  • Making the best of it + Supplement Support
  • Resting + Moving my body

 

Planning + Fasting

No surprise here. Planning ahead is important. I booked my hotels, communicated with my hosts and did a little internet recon on stores in the areas. Not sure how much of a healthy keto travel hack looking up health food stores neary by is, but it’s one thing I do everywhere I go.

 

For short flights, I prepared to have my fatty coffee before or during the flight and made sure to have water and salt with me. No food packed for these because I prefer to fat fast when I fly. It keeps me sated without having to worry about food choices on the go. Also helps with water retention and bloating.

 

I also packed my Primally Pure beauty cream and complexion mist to keep my skin hydrated (ps. last day to save 10% on Primally Pure with code CASTAWAY10).

 

For longer flight or evening flights, I would fat fast during the day. Eat one large meal before the flight and pack a light snack like an Epic Bar or a hard-boiled egg. Water, always. Drinking hot tea on the flights also helped.

 

I always kept Vital Proteins Collagen packets, Wild Foods Cacao Butter and Dark Chocolate in my purse at all times. With these 3 items, I could turn any hot beverage into a delicious, fatty mocha that would hold me over until viable food options were available. Honestly, I need a battery powered frother, it would up my game.

 

Making the Best of It and Supplement Support

 

Because I was only staying 1-2 nights in a city and had a budget on my per diem set by my publisher, I decided to skip the AirBnB this time around, so no kitchen.

I did, however, find a health food store (Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) and made my way there, usually after I got my hair done at the nearest blow dry bar. I would pick up kombucha, coconut yogurt, pre-made burger patty. A few select items to tide me over in the hotel room.

The Whole Foods in Dallas has pre-made hard-boiled, cage-free eggs. Those were an awesome score! Think simple, think portable, think okay to eat cold. Read labels!!!! On anything pre-made, even by the store, just to double check.

 

Since I was only eating one meal a day, plus a hotel room snacks, I only had to worry about getting one decent hot meal a day. From the airport Radisson to the Doubletree I always chose a simple protein.

Steak, no seasoning, only salt. Salmon, no seasoning, only salt. Pan seared.

Plain salad or seasonal veggies on the side. All dressings and salads on the sides.

I did have to pick tomatoes out of a dish in Dallas because they weren’t listed on the menu.

Supplements to help me along the way were also integral.

Fish Oil and Turmeric to ward off inflammation.

Digestive Enzymes (before meals) and Activated Charcoal (one a day) to clear out toxins from my gut.

 

Magnesium glycinate before bed to sleep well.

 

Electrolytes or electrolyte water to keep me hydrated.

In Miami I went to my mom’s gym. Old Bull Athletics!

Rest + Move

 

When you are traveling sleep is king. Don’t worry about working out if you’re not getting enough sleep.

 

I was fortunate to get in quite a bit of sleep on my travels, so much so that I missed a flight! That being said, I also got in a few workouts. Not nearly as much as I would have had I been home, but enough to keep me feeling good.

 

How did I get so much sleep? Just say NO. No to unnecessary social engagements. No to another drink, round, etc. Might seem lame or boring, but when you feel like death the next day, you will be wishing you had just gone to bed. Bonus, when you do speaking engagements like I was going, meeting and connecting with so many people, it’s a lot of energy! You give and receive energy with everyone you meet and that can leave you feeling wired. Heading home early to unwind is a smart choice.

 

Here are some options for getting your sweat on when you travel:

Guest at a gym. Ask your local friends to take you to their gym with a day pass. Call ahead to some local gyms and see if they do day passes. Scope out hotels with gyms or even the awesome fitness suite I booked at the DoubleTree.

 

Find trails. Long walking paths, hikes, parks. Get outside. Walk around, run. Play.

 

Walk around the mall! Seriously. If you’re somewhere cold or rainy. Find the mall, and window shop. Even try on clothes! Just get your body up and moving.

That’s All Folks! Keep it simple. Focus on real food. Sleep. Hydrate. If you can, move your body. Safe travels!

keto travel hacks

 

My Healing Story: AIP and Keto and Self Love

How to Create an Easy, Sustainable Meal Plan on Keto

 

 

Birthday Post: the things I learned when I was thirty two

I guess I’m an hour early… but… Thirty-Three. Today, or well June 20th, is the day, another trip around the sun. I want to talk about a few things, a few themes that have really stood out in the last year for me.

 

  • Body positivity
  • Hormone health
  • Inflammation, the reduction of it
  • Accepting that I can’t control everything

 

So let’s start with that last one and we’ll work our way up shall we!

 

Let it gooooo….

In the last year we were assigned a new duty station, so for about six months of the year I had no idea where we were going to live and every few weeks we would obsess about the available options and imagine creating (or coping) a life there and then, nope. Not chosen, wait again. Until finally at the very last minute… Virginia. Which is where we are now. I rode that emotional roller coaster for two months until I just said… F that! Whatever will be will be.

 

So many other things in life just happen once you decide to accept that whatever the outcome will be, it will be what is meant to be and that you can make it work.

 

In January of last year, for the third time in my culinary career, a friend of mine said… I’m going to tell my publisher your idea… just for them to get back to me with another no. Yup… I might have a book about to come out, but it didn’t just fall in my lap. After several NO’s… another friend, another opportunity arose, months later… and you know the timing was even better. My message was clearer, my narrative more positive. It was meant to be, and in just 27 days my cookbook will be out in the world.

 

You know what I did when I got turned down by those first publishers… I said… let me focus on my work, on honing my craft, on helping people. Eventually, my work will get the attention it deserves a book will happen. So I let go of the idea for a while and focused on building up other areas of my life and in turn, it circled back to fulfill my dream!

Get my book baby here. 

There’s an old Latin saying… Cuado esta pa’ ti, esta pa’ ti… When it’s right for you, it’s just right for you.

 

Food Related Inflammation vs. Stress Related Flares

Say what? Yes. In the last year, I have seen my dietary related inflammation disappear almost completely. I have honed in my food intolerances both digestive and hormone-related. Keto has really been the final nail in that coffin.

 

Did you know ketosis has an anti-inflammatory effect? Not to mention the level insulin levels and balanced hormones, all play into really helping with that. However, regular keto is not what I do. This is my AIP(ish) , real food, dairy free keto. It’s truly a lifestyle built on four pillars. Nutrient density. Intuitive Eating. Movement. Sleep.

Now… sort of going back to part #1, you know, about control. I like to control my health and I like feeling like I am doing, eating, sleeping and moving in ways that make me feel good. So when I do all of those things… and then… dun dun dun…. Swelling… or Something hurts… I FREAK OUT JUST A TINY BIT. I’m at the point where I am not scared of food nor do I see it as the cause of all inflammation. Stress people. We don’t give it enough credit.

 

But guess what? Moving from Hawaii to Virginia is STRESSFUL. Writing, photographing, editing a cookbook is STRESSFUL. Releasing a year’s worth of work to the world. Writing that is vulnerable. Hundreds of recipes all at once, in print, that you can’t go back and edit, that have to be perfect …. Is STRESSFUL.

 

Stress makes you more insulin resistant, stress impedes digestion…chronic stress messes with our sex hormones causing some crappy symptoms like weird periods, inflammation, cramps and more. And while I have some great coping mechanisms in place, other than giving myself grace, and making damn sure I stick to my health habits… there is not much I can do to mitigate this.  So this anti-inflammatory thing will probably be an ongoing battle, but as long as I’m winning most of the time, I can live with that. Which brings me to our next section…

HORMONES!

I’ve learned a lot about how diet affects our hormones in the last year. I have been able to get my estrogen dominance under control. I think to the point of overcorrection honestly. But in general, tracking my cycle. Knowing the symptoms of ovulation, of my follicular phase and my luteal phase has really deciphered my body. I also now can gage when there is a change really well. I can tell how food directly affects my cycle and what kinds of food I crave during different times.

 

For example, during my follicular phase, especially in the first few days I could live off of animal protein, offal, fat and dark chocolate. Pretty sure this is me needing B vitamins and iron.  Once I ovulate I begin to crave more vegetables, light foods and once I’m full on luteal I really crave soups, roasted veggies, and seeds!  Which is an indicator that my body needs a little glycogen, fiber, and probably some estrogenic compounds from the seeds with that post ovulation hormone dip.

 

As far as stress and hormones go… my sister is pretty sure I have pregnenolone steal going on. All this book business + a move took a number. Pregnenolone steal is when you are chronically stressed and you can’t produce any more cortisol so your body steals sex hormones since they are a secondary function to keep this fight or flight response going. This is a major oversimplification… but it’s how my brain understands it. Really good post about it HERE.

 

Once my life isn’t bananas I will create a plan of action to address this and will share more info with you all. But for now, I will say I have been taking a lot of magnesium and trying to rest more, physically and mentally.

More posts about hormone health HERE and HERE. 

I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt…

Yes… Body Positivity.

If you could not tell by this hilarious photo shoot… which.. BTW I took myself, #selfportrait because I found this amazing formal dress at TJ Maxx on sale and I had to have it to wear at my cousin’s wedding and hot damn I felt sexy in it. So I did my make up and set that self-timer and had myself a little party. It was awesome, and also a workout! Ha!

So in the last year I really, truly, finally let go of the notion that I need to weigh less. This realization came when I hit my lowest weight ever, and was so so so so so so sooooooo happy about it.. to the go back up… and then bounce between my lowest and 8lbs more. Forever. But then I also felt strong. Looked good. I was seeing definition and I was feeling myself.  I loved the food I was eating… I wasn’t willing to change or to restrict anything for that damn number.

So I said, hey body, you’re doing pretty damn good, let’s just keep this going. And you know what… I’ve gained muscle. I’ve gotten fit and strong and I’ve dropped a dress size. I’m not really smaller. My body doesn’t shrink and I don’t want it to. Where my waist cinches, my thighs bulk up and my back gets defined. But I’m happy. I’m learning that even with a 60lb weight loss. Even with building a lot of muscle… even with… xyz… bodies all look different and I need to love the way my body looks now instead of pursuing some image I saw on IG once.

So love your self-today. You’ll be happier. Want to reach your goals… manifest them. It’s half knowing you can get there and half knowing you sort of already are….

Overall 32 was AMAZING!

 

It’s the year my business took off. It’s a year I helped hundreds if not thousands of folks find health, confidence, and happiness. It’s the year I made my dreams come true. I wrote a freaking book!!! Ahhh!!!

 

I continue to learn, to grow, to evolve. I am still passionate and determined more than ever to spread the message that food is medicine and it should taste damn good.

 

I want to empower everyone, but especially women to move your bodies. Get strong. Feel bad ass. I want to help you BURN THE WAGON. Create lasting change and find the food freedom I have.

 

I want to keep helping you and others and I am more inspired than ever!! If you want to meet me, I like to give hugs! RSVP to my book your here: BOOK TOUR. 

 

Keto vs. Paleo

Made Whole: more than just dairy free keto cookbook

Keto and Hypoglycemia

Why I Should Have Prioritzed Post Partum Self Care

Made Whole Cookbook (Dairy Free, Nightshade Free, Nut Free)

 

I am honored, thrilled and absolutely blessed to present to you

Made Whole: More than 145 Anti-Inflammatory Keto Paleo Recipes to Nourish You from the Inside Out 

Get Your Copy Now

dairy free keto cookbook

How This Book IS Different

Made Whole is a collection of recipes that are seriously intent on benefiting you. I take the guesswork out of creating meals that will nourish you, heal you, help you and that taste freaking amazing.

Not only are ALL of the recipes dairy free (when butter or ghee are used it is ALWAYS OPTIONAL), the whole book is free of nuts, nightshades, grains, gluten, sugar or alcohol. However, ALL of the recipes are full of flavor. They are inventive and inspiring. They use EASY TO SOURCE INGREDIENTS.

The book does not require any supplement or specialty ingredients past collage/gelatin. I include ONE MASTER SHOPPING LIST. That’s right, you can cook from ANY page in the book with this one master list, on page 50.

I did this because I am a mom, I am on a budget, I am like you. Even writing this book those factors were at play. It made it easy to buy the same thing week and after week (changing out my proteins) to create new recipes for the book.

I have gotten in the best shape of my life writing this book. Healthier than ever. Inflammation down. The 6 months it took me to write this (record time, I know), were so damn transformative for me. Inside and out!  That passion is woven into these pages! I want this for you.

Ingredients in this book are very carefully chosen. Each recipe crafted to fill a need. To nourish your body, mind, and soul.

Order Now!

Editorial Reviews for Made Whole Cookbook

“One of my biggest gripes with the keto lifestyle is that people can still eat crap and technically be in ketosis. Eating trash and having high ketone levels is not healthy. Cristina does an amazing job at making a keto diet nourishing by using clean, anti-inflammatory ingredients that promote health and ketosis.”

– Anthony Gustin DC, MS, CSCS Founder Perfect Keto, Equip Foods

“Made Whole is a must-have for anyone that has ever struggled to find their way in the keto, paleo world. Whether your goal is healing from the inside out, or weight loss, this book has you covered. With delicious recipes, and comprehensive resources, this book is a one-stop-shop. Cristina is a forward thinker, a master tinkerer, and a flavor profile genius. This book is an absolute masterpiece! I am so proud to call her a friend and a peer.”

-Kyndra Holley, International Best-selling Cookbook Author and Founder of Peace, Love and Low Carb

“Cristina has turned “food-as-medicine” into a delicious lifestyle that adapts to your body and your family’s needs. As a functional medicine practitioner who prescribes elimination diets with an emphasis on a paleo approach to keto, I am often limited in the resources available to encompass my whole foods approach. This book takes you on a journey of clean eating and gut restoration focusing on removal of AIP ingredients while ensuring an abundance of therapeutic nutrients and antioxidants. Careful attention is put into each dish, preventing roadblocks with chefs notes and substitutions allowing you to tailor it to fit your body’s needs potentially adjusting ingredients as your body becomes more resilient. Each recipe takes an innovative approach to combine clean ingredients to nourish your body and heal from the inside out from Hard Cheese with cauliflower gelatin base to Roasted Beet Marinara my mind is buzzing with the healing potential and my belly says ooooo yes!”

– Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE, functional medicine dietitian of Naturally Nourished and author of The Anti-Anxiety Diet

“For anyone looking to heal their body, Made Whole is the perfect place to start. We go years of our lives without thinking about the foods we are putting into our bodies and how they impact us, but with Made Whole you learn that real, whole food can be delicious, rich in nutrients and restorative all at the same time. Cristina makes a healthy lifestyle approachable for everyone, which is why this a staple book in our household. She reminds us that most of our symptoms and lifestyle choices all tie back to the foods we eat, and her dedication to others and passion for cooking come through in each page. The best part about this book is that it feels like it was written for us and when you hold it in your hands you will understand the feeling. From the section where she shares “secrets” from her mother’s kitchen to all the detail and thought put into each recipe, you’ll feel like Cristina is right there in the kitchen cooking alongside with you!”

– Megha Barot + Matt Gaedke, Authors of Keto Made Easy and Founders of Keto Connect

“I love Cristina’s passion in the kitchen and her dedication to her health and delicious food.”

– Teri Turner, Founder of NoCrumbsLeft

“Anybody who’s interacted with Cristina has felt the authenticity and unapologetic optimism she radiates…. This relentlessly vivacious spirit has become Cristina’s calling card- and is the common thread that runs throughout this book, her greatest creation yet. Made Whole is an absolute knockout.  Just like it’s author, it’s approachable, easy to relate to and prioritizes what matters most: making damn good food that’s good for you…. It’s like a Primal Swiss Army Knife.”

– Mark Sisson, Bestselling author of author of The Keto Reset Diet & The Primal Blueprint

The Recipes

They range from one skillet, sheet pan, slow cooker, instant pot easy …. to some multi-step creations. Simple enough for novice chefs, but daring and creative enough to keep the seasoned cook entertained!  So much more than just a dairy-free keto cookbook… these recipes are curated for optimal nutrition and maximum enjoyment!

dairy free keto cookbook

I have a hefty Staples chapter, building blocks for the recipes… cauliflower alfredo, cheese sauce, pistou, coconut yogurt!

Small + Snacks for appetizers, parties, quick bites. Ranging from Deli Skewer with Green Goddess Dressing,  Ceviche, Smooth Chia Pudding, Protein Porridge and Croquetas de Jamon. This versatile chapter has recipes to meal prep for post work out nutrition or light meals to keep on hand.

Soups + Salads section has some amazing creations! From the ever-popular Feel Good Soup to A Chicken and Dumpling Soup! Salads range from fancy Curried Crab Cakes to Castaway Chicken Salad, which let me tell you, is the best damn chicken salad you will ever eat. Thai Coconut Soup, Creamy Broccoli Soup… Asian Slaw to Taco Salad!

The mains are divided up between Eggs, Beef + Lamb, Poultry, Pork, Fish and Seafood. The majority of the recipes are in the Poultry and Beef categories as these are the most popular! I only included one organ meat recipe, lol, I know. It’s not Pate!

These main dishes have range. Persian Fritatta, Eggs Benny, Shredded Jerk Chicken, Orange Chicken Skewers, Arroz Con Pollo. Slow Cooker Shwarma, Suya Stir Fry, Multinational Beef Stew to Steak Pinwheels! Lazy Loco Moco, The perfect Pan Seared Cod to a Salmon and Noodle Casserole. Braised Pork Chops with Creamy Green Beans. Crispy Kalua Pork with Crunchy Asian Salad and Shrimp and Grits… to name a few… SERIOUSLY VERSATILE.

Sides + Beverages are full of fun options. For one a legit, squeaky clean Nut Free Keto Bread, Savory Flax Waffles, Street Taco Tortillas (made of cauliflower!), Spiced Broccolini with a Cool Cilantro Sauce…  Butter Coffee, Coconut Matcha Latte and Korean Cinnamon Tea!

MOST of the recipes have variations for coconut free, AIP, egg free where possible etc.

Prep Time, Cook Time, Left Over Storage Info. I also have Time Saving Tips, Chef’s Notes and more throughout the book.

Macros are included for every recipe. There are 4 meal plans with shopping lists!

This is a dream come true and I have been planning this for a long time people! Order HERE. 

dairy free keto cookbook

The Resources

Much more than just recipes. I share my own trials and tribulations with the positive, encouragement you have come to know from me. Talk about the emotional side of healing and weight loss. I get science-y. Oh yeah.

I explain what AIP is. What Paleo is. What Keto is. I explain the how and why of my journey. I talk about insulin resistance, gut health, liver function, and hormones.

I break down the nuts and bolts of a balanced keto diet and my recommendations for finding out how to make keto work for you. I keep it real, I keep it simple, I crack a few jokes along the way.

After you get all loaded up on knowledge, I give you all of my kitchen secrets. I talk serious kitchen intuition, the right tools, shopping, sourcing, I include not only what ingredients- but where to find them! Safeway/ Kroger, Costco, Whole Foods, Amazon…

There are FOUR meals plans. Each meal plan is 2 weeks long! We’ve got an AIP meal plan. We’ve got Kid-Friendly Meal Plan (you’re welcome mom’s), Meal Prep Meal Plan aaaandddd a Keto Reset Meal Plan (no treats, no baked foods etc).

You guys… I did this ALL FOR YOU! Now here is some food porn to really seal the deal! 

Order Now! 

Sneak Peak Inside This Dairy Free Keto CookbookDAIRY FREE KETO COOKBOOK

dairy free keto cookbookDAIRY FREE KETO COOKBOOK

 

dairy free keto

dairy free keto

 

ORDER NOW

 

Thank you all for your support, for being a part of this community. I hope to continue to grow, learn and heal together for years to come!!!! xxoo, Cristina 

Amazon Reviews

made whole review made whole cookbook gluten free cookbook dairy free low carb

 

 

My Healing Story: AIP and Keto and Self Love

keto transformation

How I Ended Up with Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity

Where do I begin? How long should this be? I often share fragments of my story and am yet to put it all together like this. Two reasons for that, it’s multi-faceted, it’s not linear and there are a bunch of tangents, two, do you really care? To read it all, to know from the beginning… here it is… I would like to mention that my life has not been this epic sob story although this story does highlight my hardships. Isn’t that life though, real life, the light, and the dark? I want to share my story, to tell you how AIP and Keto and self-love changed my life forever in hopes that it might inspire you, motivate or teach you.

 

I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember. Even as a baby I was bigger than my older sister and ate more than her too. Of course, as a kid, you don’t know you’re fat or that it’s not accepted by society until someone makes it clear to you. I can’t recall that exact moment, but I know it happened at some point. I remember as early as the third grade coming home in tears from school.

overweight

Even before then my otherwise happy childhood was marked by bouts of illness. Hospitalized with pneumonia at 8 months old. Chronic bronchitis, reoccurring strep throat. I remember the inhalers and antibiotics. I remember the fevers that would burn me up in cold sweats. I was sick a lot. I remember taking Dimetap and it tasted like grape Jolly Ranchers. The mineral oil spoonfuls and rectal suppositories for severe constipation.

 

We didn’t know back then, no one looked at health this way, but even as a child from ear, nose, and throat to my bottom, from one end to the other my health issues screamed of leaky gut. I could have been the combination of C-section birth, soy formula and a full course of vaccines. It could have been the anti-biotics and my family’s predisposition to autoimmunity. I could be the inherited stress from my grandmother and mother who lived and fled a communist country. Whatever the reason, of all the kids in my family- I was hit the hardest.

 

Fast forward to being a teenager with full-blown self-esteem issues, body dysmorphia and a sadness I could not explain. Desperate for people to like me, I would take the shirt off my back for anyone. Although most would remember me as upbeat, high energy and happy, I always felt a disconnect, I felt like an outsider, unwanted and unsure. I know now this was all in my head. I was living my whole life with this filter on and it was the source of so much strife.

 

My go-to source of self-harm or self-medication was food. I would sneak leftovers and snacks. I would open the fridge and gobble up food before anyone could catch me. I would eat my plate and then my sister’s leftovers. I was put on every diet ever. I cried and my mom wanted to help me so she did it the only way she knew how. As an avid dieter- yo-yo-er herself we would do these diets together.

 

I will say my mom’s culinary skills and her love of real food were a bonus, at least our diets didn’t consist of shakes or frozen meals. Although, there was that one week on the South Beach Diet where all we ate was chicken and lettuce.

 

This pattern of ultra-restriction (with rapid weight loss) and then falling off the wagon in some epic way is surely what has fucked up my metabolism and hormones.

 

Add into this 10 years binge drinking, cigarettes, and some casual drug use. Oh boy! I wish I could go back and tell my 16 or 18, shit even 23-year-old self to SSSSTTTAAAPPPP IT.That girl was in so much pain. Emotional and physical. Navigating social gatherings, beach days, boat parties, flirting, intimacy, sex with low self-esteem, body issues, and my hidradenitis suppurativa was nerve-wracking.

Ashamed of my body fat, my scars, trying to hide the hideous painful boils of my autoimmune disease, being intimate, or showing certain parts of my body was a super scary thought. One which I numbed with substance abuse. I never even spoke to anyone but my mother, sister and a few doctors about my skin condition until I got married and even then, I would hide a lot of my pain and my scars. I was like a duck. Seemingly cruising on the pond while frantically kicking beneath the surface.

 

The Turning Point

Pregnancy, having a baby, motherhood have a way of putting things into perspective. I stopped giving a F about hiding my HS around my husband, especially because it got worse. Much worse. I am not sure if it was the sleepless nights, the hormone and emotional roller coaster, the stress of motherhood. but my health took a downward spiral while my body fat just kept climbing. When we moved to Hawaii and I finally weaned my son after nursing for two years, I was at an all-time low.

 

Swollen, depressed, feeling achy, tired and worn out at 29 years old I took to the internet for answers and found an article by Tara Grant on Robb Wolf’s website. She has my same skin condition. She put it into remission through diet. She talked a lot about nightshades. I bought her book, The Hidden Plague. 

 

Finding out this disease was autoimmune, that it wasn’t my fault, that I COULD do something about it was the most empowering moment of my life. However, the journey has not been linear, it has been like climbing up a steep mountain with a windy road. Hidradentitis Suppurativa is a mystery, and it is notoriously hard to put in remission and keep in remission! So many factors at play.

Add to that giant goal the need to lose weight, get fit and healthy and I had a big job to do!

So how did I go about this seemingly impossible task?

I began by educating myself as best as I could. I researched nightshades. I brushed up on my knowledge of paleo. This lead me right to the AIP (autoimmune protocol) door. I won’t lie, it scared the shit out of me. It seemed absolutely impossible. All spices, eggs, coffee, and nuts… how in the hell?? Remember back then, although I was gluten free and mostly dairy free I was still eating grains and potato and alllll the tomatoes and peppers!

 

However, I was curious, I knew in my gut that it was what I needed to do. As my 30th birthday neared I decided to start with a Whole30. It seemed more do-able. I consciously reduced my nightshade intake and did the 30 days. It was amazing. I lost 13 pounds with that first Whole30 and felt so much better, my depression began to lift. So I stuck it out with paleo throughout the summer and finally, that fall I committed to doing the AIP.

Serious About Healing  

Yes, it took me nearly three months to muster up the grit to get through my first AIP. It was finally clear to me, that even though I was eating paleo, with all the paleo treats, the occasional wine, and nightshades, my skin was not improving at all. It was time to get serious about my health.

 

The AIP is quite the endeavor. An elimination diet that excludes all grains, dairy, gluten, beans, seeds, nuts, eggs, processed foods, and nightshades. I began the AIP as outlined in Tara Grant’s book which keeps coffee and cashews in as long as you see progress. I saw some progress, but eventually, I gave up coffee and cashews too. I saw more progress. I kept a very detailed journal.      Time, date: What I ate. How I felt immediately after and any notes following 24 hours of that meal. I logged in symptoms, sleep, stress.

 

I’m glad I kept the journal. It would have been difficult to quantify my progress. As I was still suffering from some fatigue and my hidradenitis wasn’t completely in remission I had moments of doubt, frustration. I cried a lot. But when I looked at the bigger picture I realized that my flares were farther apart and they were shorter. Lasting only 1-3 days, as opposed to weeks or months.

 

I added in one food back in at a time, coffee, eggs, wine, then nuts and seeds. Eventually, I added ghee too. I never tried to add in gluten or nightshades as even touching these foods caused my hands to itch, and I have since had a full-blown reaction when accidentally eating these foods.

 

Over the course of those first 6 months, I lost 35 pounds. I began to workout. I began to love to workout. Zumba, HIIT, weightlifting, spinning. I was on a roll. Then something happened…

 

I hit a wall. Progress came to a screeching halt. I stopped losing weight, I even began to gain some back. I was tired all the time again. I was bloated and I felt off. I had monster cravings and even though I had completed various Whole30’s (each time learning something new about my habits)  I wasn’t seeing the progress I wanted in my energy, health or body.

 

The Low Carb Life

Through research, I deduced I was having symptoms of SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), when you have too much bad bacteria in your small intestine, which feeds off of starches and sugar. So I began to cut those out.

 

Naturally, I looked into lower carb paleo and found Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint. It made so much sense and seemed to be just what I needed. So I stuck to squash over sweet potato and berries over banana. I kept researching and troubleshooting. I read Robb Wolf’s Wired to Eat and did the 7 Day Carb Test as outlined in this book.

 

I gave up alcohol altogether. I wasn’t doing me any favors and I finally had to be honest with myself about that one. I had gotten comfortable with my eating habits, hoping I was one of those lucky people who healed in a few months. I wasn’t. I finally admitted to myself that I still had healing to do. I embraced the fact that I abused my body for years and this damage would not be undone in just a few months or even a year. I let that sink in. 2016 was a year of learning and reflection. It was also the year my HS finally went into remission.

 

Once I let go of the notion that I would one day be able to eat whatever I wanted without reckless abandon and focused on the positive changes in my life and my health things changed!

 

I focused more on self-love, on acceptance. Then making changes to my diet, to tweak as needed to feel my best didn’t seem like this great trauma or sacrifice. The changes I was making registered as my new lifestyle, as gifts to myself, as a celebration of delicious nourishing foods and healing my body.

sugar free pickled beets

When I began Keto…

 

From the 7 Day Carb Test, I learned that I was, in fact, insulin resistant. Which is when your cells stop reacting to the insulin secreted by the pancreas. It just keeps secreting insulin into your bloodstream, but the gylcogen isn’t being used for energy so it is stored as fat. In my case, I suspected the reason for the visceral fat on my body. Going down that research rabbit hole brought to light so many other things I had to work on. An overworked liver. Estrogen dominance. It was all connected. So, I took it one step at a time. I had my hormone levels tested in January of 2017, my estrogen was off the charts. My integrative medicine doctor confirmed my insulin resistance and estrogen dominance suspicions and we discussed going from paleo to a more keto approach. He was into it. He gave me The Epi-Paleo RX by Dr. Jack Kruse (a super interesting but intense read).

 

what are ketones. Ketosis and the ketogenic diet.

 

I went head first into keto-paleo without nightshades. I added grass fed butter back into my diet because honestly, I couldn’t afford to keep buying ghee and at the rate I was using it, making it was also cumbersome.

 

All went well. All of my symptoms began to subside. After a few weeks of the infamous keto flu (aka I thought I was dying), I was in ketosis. I had energy. My joints no longer ached druing my luteal phase. My skin never looked better. My hangry-ness went away. I could go hours without snacking or eating and sweet baby Jesus! The scale began to move again! I was hooked. The stable energy, the delicious food, the bulletproof coffee! Gimme!

 

After a few months of rapid progress, I hit that wall again. Not just on the scale but in feeling better… but at this point, I knew the culprit. I had gone almond butter happy… yup…my old food abuser ways had crept into my keto diet. Too many treats, not enough real food. Way to many nut-based foods and sweeteners. I digress, it is hard to change your eating habits. Especially in my life of work which includes looking at food all day. Knowing what everyone and their mothers is eating. It’s hard not to compare. Yes, maybe some folks were seeing great results eating fat bombs and keto cookies all day- that wasn’t me. So I did my first Whole30 + Keto. Absolutely not condoned by the program, but it’s my body, my rules yo and it was awesome.

 

After that, I went back to the basics. Back to my AIP roots. I omitted nuts from my diet and reduced sweeteners too. I dabbled in Stevia and Monk Fruit. Both are okay, erythritol hands down performs better though.

 

I became really committed to this whole food keto approach. I tried different macros. I tracked on and off. I still do. I made sure to eat quality proteins. Himalayan salt in my water for sodium and trace minerals which help with hydration.

 

I focused on a balance of above ground vegetables, healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil or MCT oil for my meals, less seed based fat bombs. More complete meals. More color. I played around with more or less protein and my workouts. I found a happy middle ground between AIP and Keto.

 

If you follow my Instagram you see how I eat. There is an ebb and flow. Some days a way higher in calories and fat while others are more protein heavy. Sometimes I eat root vegetables like beets or carrots, but mostly avoid starches. I like the sweet treat as much as the next person but have finally broken my addiction to them. So while I still use stevia or erythritol it is in moderation and that works for me.

 

 

At this very moment, I am doing an AIP KETO RESET (learn more HERE). A short term reset that combines AIP and Keto. I’m a sucker for self-experimentation and it is also my job to help other people. I firmly believe this powerful combination can do just that.  All the autoimmune protocol restrictions on a keto template, so sans sugar or carbs and honestly I feel the best I have in months! I’m excited to see what the reintroduction phase will bring!

 

Here are some guidelines to a Whole Foods Approach To Keto for Optimizing Weight loss, Reduction in Inflammation and overall Vitality!

 

  • Stick to ingredient meals: avocado or bacon, protein, greens and add sauces, fermented vegetables, and herbs to jazz things up. My favorite condiments are chimichurri, mayo, pickled veggies.
  • Learn to drink unsweetened coffee or tea in the morning. It’s all about getting used to it. By omitting this one source of sweetener in your every day you set the stage and train your taste buds to not expect or need that sweet flavor. I hate sweetened coffee now! It’s crazy. The trick about unsweetened coffee is that it has to be good coffee. I like a light roast. Use a French press to make it. Blend with coconut oil or MCT powder, a little coconut cream and gelatin, add cinnamon too! Yum!
  • Go to bed early! I don’t care how clean your diet is, if you don’t sleep you will feel like shit regardless. Also, when you’re sleepy your hunger signals are all out of whack.
  • Don’t focus so much on the scale. The scale can’t measure your muscle mass, your BMI or yourself worth yo. Take before and after pictures, keep a journal of your non-scale victories!
  • If you have an autoimmune issue I suggest you start with the AIP KETO RESET or at least a dairy and nut free keto. Go from there. I also avoid nightshades because they make me react but that can be very inflammatory to a lot of people, from acne to joint pain. You might want to try eliminating those for a bit too! All of my recipes are nightshade free.
  • Do not compare yourself to others. Do not obsess over pee strips or macro numbers or what so and so said. How YOU FEEL will always be the most important indicator of your health. Look at your skin, your energy levels, your cycle and bowel movements. Pay attention to your body, it’s talking to you.
  • Meal Prep, Cook Once, Eat Twice. Stock up your kitchen. Set yourself up for success. Having delicious foods at the ready will be your ticket. Don’t get stuck in a cycle of eating lame, fast or cheap options. While those are okay in a pinch you can’t live off of pre-packaged foods, beef jerky, and pickles.
  • Don’t panic. There will be stalls. Healing crisis. Setbacks. Detox. Stress. Life. More forward. Stay the course. Re-examine as needed, tweak and carry on.
  • Keep it simple. You don’t need fancy products or supplements, all you need it good food. However, I do find that supplementing with magnesium glycinate helps me sleep and I take a daily probiotic.
  • If you have any questions feel free to comment below or email me castawaykitchen@gmail.com

2018 Wellness Toolbox!

It’s a New Year, you’re all psyched up to make changes, hit your goals. Everywhere you look the “GET HEALTHY” propaganda is going strong. Oh yesssss… new year, new you right? Well…  I have news for you… NOTHING WILL GO AS PLANNED. 

It might for a while, for a month, a week etc… but eventually life will throw you curve balls. In January the gym will be packed… by March you it will dwindle down to the old regulars again. Happens every year. So how do you kick the temporary out of your changes? You make it a LIFESTYLE. 

If you get sick, if you mess up, if you have set backs… keep going. Progress can be slow, but it is still progress. It’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get up. It’s not about how many pounds you lose, but how strong and healthy you get! Celebrate little victories and focus and keep on keeping on! 

HEALTHY LIVING LIFESTYLE

What does that even mean Cristina? It means that preparing your meals, making time for movement and self care are priorities in your life. That is the one key change. There are ZERO excuses. Time, money, kids, schedule… there are ways around ALL OF THAT when you make these things a PRIORITY. Pencil in your yoga flow, 20 minute walk, gym time etc like you would a doctors appointment or taking a shower… it is part of your a routine, NON-NEGOTIABLE. 

It IS IMPORTANT, the same as any other thing you just HAVE TO DO. 

Perspective folks. Make you a priority. Choose YOU. 

This doesn’t mean you have to spend 3 hours at the gym every day or get weekly massages and become a meditation guru. Create a routine that feels organic to you. Pick movement that you enjoy, it can be anything (swimming, hiking, ballet, cross fit- whatever). Your self care time can be 10 minutes alone in your room in the evening. Taking a long bath, going to bed early. Waking up before the kids to enjoy coffee quietly. Little moments of peace and serenity to connect with your inner dialogue, slow down, take a deep breathe, feel CALM. Need some help on this front, check out my TLC (tender love and care) Challenge HERE. 

 

 

 

DIETARY GOALS

The basis of any dietary goal needs to be REAL FOOD. Whole ingredients. Things you need to cook at home, prepare with care, plan, enjoy, nutrient dense. Fast and easy will only be sustainable for so long. No-cook meals will only satisfy for a short while. Embrace this. You will need to learn to cook some, you will need to be patient and make time for cooking. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s a part of life. Put on some music, get the kids to help. Get in the kitchen. 

You don’t need to prepare 6 course, fine dining meals. Learning a few basics. Mastering a handful of recipes is extremely empowering. Find a few that you like, make them until you know them by heart- then make them your own. Modify, play around with the ingredients, next thing you know you are creating your own recipes. 

 

My GO- TO TOOLS: PALEO- AIP- KETO

Goal: Heal leaky gut, reduce inflammation, control autoimmune disease. Tool: The Autoimmune Protocol 

What is it: omit all inflammatory foods (grains, gluten, legumes, nightshades, seeds, nuts, eggs, coffee, cacao etc), more HERE.

Goal: Eat more real food. Need more vegetables in my diet. Source quality proteins. Go gluten and dairy free. Tool: Paleo (and/or Whole30)  *How to transition your kitchen HERE. 

What is it: omit gluten, grains, dairy. Focus on plants and animals with an emphasis on quality and sourcing. Whole30 is a paleo cleanse of sorts, no booze, treats or shenanigan. I love the program, it’s free, it’s awesome. Learn more HERE. 

Goal: Crush sugar cravings. Balance hormones. Lose weight. Tool: Keto 

What is it: apply a paleo template but cut out starchy vegetables and natural sweeteners (honey, dates etc). Eat moderate protein (.6-1g per lean body mass, net carbs under 50g, 80-150g fat depending on goals). More details HERE. 

For a comprehensive breakdown on these diets read THIS POST. 

 

 

JERF: JUST EAT REAL FOOD

One thing AIP, Paleo and yes, EVEN KETO (at least the way I do it) have in common, all are based on whole foods. Not like the grocery store, whole foods, means food as it should be, from the earth, sea or animal. Unprocessed, raw, and pure. Ingredients to make meals which will nourish your body, flood your system with micronutrients. Nutrient density is key for health and vitality and even weight loss! 

More important than marcos, calories, tracking… “right” or “wrong” foods (which btw isn’t really a thing so stop it), more than approved or not, more important that following any set of rules, guidelines or anyway of eating…. cooking from WHOLE INGREDIENTS IS KEY. That needs to be your NUMBER ONE. From there you can tweak, evolve, find your path etc. 

More on calories, tracking etc HERE. Spoiler, if you need/want to track go for it, but work towards intuitive eating. Find your grove and trust yourself enough to listen to your body. Going off the rails a little? Do a reset, track for a few days or weeks, then stop again. Why? Because the point of making this a lifestyle is that it becomes second nature, and you’re not obsessing about it all the time. Measuring, tracking and such usually leads to some slightly compulsive tendencies. It’s not the enemy, but it shouldn’t become a crutch. It’s a tool, a temporary guidance and das it. 

The Foooooooddd 

This is what I eat, stock my kitchen etc. I’ve built up my spices. I buy dry goods in bulk when I find them on sale. I freeze chicken or meat when I find it on sale. I really try to vary my protein intake. Beef and fish are SUPER nutrient dense. I always get wild caught or pastured, hence the emphasis on sales. No shame in my game. We eat a lot of ground beef. We eat organ meat sometimes too. Bone broth is a regular. 

I don’t buy all of this each week. Pantry  items vary, I usually stock up monthly. Proteins rotate depending on what I can find. Same with the vegetables, what is fresh, what is in season?  I’ll cover how to create a meal plan from your shopping list below!

Vegetables:

Cauliflower (frozen and/or fresh) 

Broccoli and/or broccolini

Asparagus

Spinach

Arugula

Kale and/or collards

Rainbow Slaw (shredded veggies)

Mushrooms 

Brussel Sprouts

Radishes 

Zucchini

Lettuce

Butternut Squash (frozen or fresh) 

Celery

Cucumber 

Cabbage

Onion

Green Onion

Garlic

Ginger Root

Fresh Herbs: cilantro, parsley, basil, thyme, oregano 

Lemon Grass 

Proteins:

Pastured Eggs 

Ground Beef

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

Sugar Free Bacon 

Chicken Breast

Ground Turkey

Ground Pork 

Jumbo Shrimp

Wild Caught Salmon (fresh and canned)

Boneless Pork Chops

Pork Tenderloin 

Pork Shoulder

Prosciutto

Genoa Salami and/or Deli Turkey and/or Sopressata 

Ham Steak 

Beef Chuck Roast or another inexpensive cut 

Tri Tip Steak and/ or Sirloin Steak 

Skirt Steak 

Stew Meat 

Bone-In Rib Eye 

Beef Liver

White Salt Water Fish

Fats:

Avocado Oil 

Olive Oil 

Coconut Oil 

Lard and/ or Butter  and/or Ghee 

Seeds:

Pumpkin Seeds

Flax Seeds

Chia Seeds

Sesame Seeds  

Hemp Hearts  

Sunflower Seeds and/or sunflower seed butter 

Coconuts:

Full Fat Canned Coconut Milk

Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

Coconut Flour 

Coconut Butter (if not making it at home)

Fruit:

Lemons 

Limes  

Berries, fresh and/or frozen (of all kinds) 

Oranges (for cooking)

As “Specialty” as it gets:

Pastured Gelatin 

Pastured Collagen (optional) 

Nutritional Yeast

Red Boat Fish Sauce

Coconut Aminos 

Pantry, Seasonings and Other:

Dijon Mustard 

Baking Soda 

Coffee 

Red Wine Vinegar and/ or Coconut Vinegar 

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Canned Pumpkin 

Kelp Noodles or Shirataki Noodles 

Matcha Tea (if you partake) 

Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate 

Sunflower Seed Butter 

Liquid Smoke 

Olives, black or green 

Capers 

Vanilla Extract 

Sweetener(s) of choice, I use liquid stevia and erythritol, sometimes Pure Monk

Pink Himalayan Salt or Celtic Sea Salt (fine ground) 

Ground Black Pepper  

Ground Turmeric 

Ground Ginger 

Garlic Powder 

Onion Powder 

Ground Cumin

Ground Nutmeg

Ground Mustard Seeds 

Bay Leaves

Italian Herb Blend  

Dried Thyme  

Dried Dill

Dried Parsley  

Dried Oregano  

Ceylon Cinnamon

Chinese 5 Spice 

Garam Masala 

Cardamom 

Where To Shop 

Grocery Store (Safeway, Kroger etc)

Health Food/ Specialty (Whole Foods, Sprouts, Down To Earth)

Whole Sale (Costco, Sams Club)

Amazon, Barefoot Provisions, Vitacost, Thrive Market 

How To Make A Meal Plan

Plan 5-6 dinner meals. Think that at least 3 meals will yield leftovers for lunch. If you eat breakfast, pick something you can make once and pack for the whole week. 

Calculate about 1/5 pound of protein per person, per meal. Mostly because fatty proteins reduce a lot when cooking. For fish calculate 1/4 pound. I actually shop first, then make my meal map when I get home. 

Always buy more eggs than you think you will need. Pick your sauces first, plan meals around your staples, condiments etc. 

I like meal maps… where I don’t necessarily prepare all of this ahead of time, but i have an idea of what I am cooking, it leaves me some wiggle room which I like. 

For example… 

Dinner idea:

Lunch hack:

Use leftover sauce from meatballs to spice up leftovers or egg dishes. 

Pack some beef jerky or an avocado to “beef up” leftovers. 

Breakfast: 

Sheet pan omelette, or egg muffins. Make ahead. Grab and go. 

Because you’re already making pumpkin chili, get an extra can and make yourself some pumpkin brownies, a nice clean treat to gravitate to if you want a snack or something sweet. 

Troubleshooting 

*I’m not a doctor folks. This is what I do for me, what I have learned from self experimentation. Talk to your health care provider before taking anything, especially if you are already on medication.*

If you feel fatigued, meh, tired… first thing is first… get. more. sleep. Even if it means skipping your Netflix time, go to bed early and limit screen time in the evenings. 

Drink more water, try adding a pinch of salt to it. 

Are you eating enough? If you’re active (work on your feet, workout daily, a mom) you need to keep your nutrient intake up. That doesn’t mean snack all day, but when you sit down to eat, make sure you eat a meal with plenty of veggies and protein. Some good fats too. Don’t take two bits of some cold eggs and then run off. Meal time is scared. 

If you have dry hair, brittle nails or thinning hair add collagen or gelatin to your coffee or food somehow. Use it daily. Drink a lot of bone broth. You can also try a digestive enzyme. I like this one. 

Do you supplement with magnesium? Magnesium is needed for all bodily functions. Helps reduce stress, regulate digestive system, reduce inflammation etc. I like this one. 

Do you eat a lot of sea food or kelp noodles? No? You might be low on iodine. IF you have thyroid issues, speak to your health care provider before supplementing with iodine. I take a trace minerals supplement, covers all my bases. I use this one. 

Feeling glum? Get some sun light. Go for a walk, take your laptop to the park to get work done. Park at the end of the lot to get a few minutes walking out doors. 

Crazy cravings? At first this will happen. Any transition is hard, but if you’re a few months in and still feigning for sugar try lowering your carbs, cutting out all sweets (even keto treats) and upping your fat intake until cravings subside. If you’re not interesting in keto (low carb), try reaching for some strawberries when you want a treat. 

Move Yo Body 

Getting in a 15-20 minute walk a day might not sound like some life changing stuff… BUT IT IS!!! If you’re doing your first Whole30 or just starting on a new way of eating, throwing in a new workout routine might be one too man changes. So just walk. You get some fresh air, you get moving. You will feel great afterwards. When you’re ready to step it up here are a few do-able at home workouts that will have you sweating in under 40 minutes. 

HIIT style workouts are my favorite. They’re fast, intense an you don’t need a lot or any equipment.

I use a free app called Seconds to set timers in 40-60 second segments. 

No Equipment, Full Body 

40 seconds on. 10 seconds rest. 6 rounds. One minute rest after 3 rounds. 

Jumping Jacks

Push Ups

Air Squats 

Plank

Burpees 

Wall Squat 


Minimal Equipment, Cardio Blast

1 minute on, 1 minute off. 30 minutes. 

Hill sprints

Kettle Bell Swings 

Minimal Equipment, Booty Workout 

1 minute on, 20 seconds off, 10 rounds- add weights to amp up the burn 

Walking lunges 

Glute Bridges

Air Squats or Jumping Squats 

Lateral Squat walk with resistance band 

Kettle Bell Swings 

Remember to always warm up before work outs and stretch after! Drink plenty of water too! 

 

LASTING. SUSTAINABLE CHANGE. YOU CAN DO THIS. FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND WORK IT! 

Keto and Hypoglycemia

My friend and holistic registered nutrition, Meg is here to talk to us about blood sugar! I’m thrilled to share her real food, self love, keto wisdom will all of you! 

 

Hey, everyone!

I am so grateful to be a guest blogger here on The Castaway Kitchen today! Cristina and I only recently became friends through Instagram a few months ago, but I am so grateful for our new friendship and her invite to have me on her blog today!For those of you who do not know me, here’s a little about me before we get into the goods of today’s topic:

I am Meg Doll. I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and have a fiery passion for guiding women to wake up every morning with that “holy-shit-my-life-is-so-good feeling”.

I swear from time to time when I’m fired up about a topic I love to talk about or educate others on and the reason why I want you to be so amped up about your life is because I know what it’s like to live in darkness. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I battled eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. Because of my journey, I am not your average nutritionist. I see food as a powerful tool to support our bodies in the healing process, but I believe all healing begins with you. Your mindset. Your thoughts. Your love.

 

Alright, enough about me! Let’s get to today’s post!

 

Since Cristina is an absolute recipe guru (hello, avocado brownies! Um, YUM!), she was hoping I could share some different information with you today – particularly about blood sugar.

You see, the topic of blood sugar holds a special place in my heart because for the majority of my life I struggled with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and was well known in my family as “the hangry one” (ie. hungry and angry).

 

Missed or delayed meals were NOT an option for me, ever. I made sure that I ate 6 – 7 meals every day, perfectly timed, and obsessively planned. I was told that, in order to balance my blood sugar levels and prevent low blood sugar, I had to eat multiple times a day, include carbohydrates at every single meal and snack, and that my hypoglycemia was something I would just have to “live with”.

Guess what?

 

Obsessively planning my meals and making sure I ate multiple times a day only made this girl more stressed, food obsessed, and longing for freedom.

 

There had to be a better way.

 

Was this really my normal?

 

I am here to tell you that when your body does not function the way it should, that is not normal.

 

Your body wants to be healthy and when I ditched the bull-crap information I was given about how to manage my hypoglycemia and started taking a new approach, instead, that is when I gained health.

 

Here’s what I did:

 

Instead of eating 6 – 7 “mini meals” per day to “prevent” my blood sugar from dropping, I began eating 3 large meals each day, and snacking if and when needed.

 

Instead of placing my primary focus on including carbohydrates with each meal and snack, I began to focus on eating more fat with my meals. I began to build my meals around fat, including fatty cuts of protein, nuts and seeds, avocados, and other sources of fat such as oils, butter, ghee, and coconut everything. Carbohydrates no longer played a primary role in my meals and snacks, but I would include a wide variety of vegetables with each meal and eat starchier carbohydrates (such as sweet potatoes and plantains) when I felt like it!

 

I know this is the complete opposite to what you’ve likely been told about how to balance your blood sugar levels, but it works and here’s why:

As a holistic nutritionist, I am always trying to determine the why behind a health imbalance and when it comes to hypoglycemia the why behind low blood sugar levels is often the result of having a spike in your blood sugar, resulting in a blood sugar level that is too low – hypoglycemia.


 

We know that our blood sugar naturally increases when we eat. However, it can increase much higher than necessary when our meals are carbohydrate based and lacking fat. When we eat these disproportioned meals and snacks, our blood sugar starts to look like a rollercoaster with major ups and downs, instead of gradual fluctuations.

 

To put an end to your blood sugar rollercoaster (if you find yourself on one, like I once did), take a look at what is causing your blood sugar to rise too high in the first place. Is it an overconsumption of carbohydrates? Too little fat? Or maybe both?

 

When you know the root cause of your blood sugar imbalance, you can then begin making the necessary tweaks to your diet that you need in order to experience freedom from that terrible blood sugar rollercoaster!

 

I mean, I love rollercoasters, but the blood sugar kind? No thanks!


 

For more information on how to free yourself from what’s holding you back in life, check out my book, Keto Freedom! It’s being released in the spring of 2018 and takes you on a journey that will allow you to experience complete freedom – mind, body, and soul. I share my personal experiences with eating disorder recovery, how I cultivated self-love after so many years of hating myself, and how I use a high fat diet to support my health (and free me from things like hypoglycemia!)


 

Thanks for reading and if you’d like to keep in touch, here’s where you can find me:

 

The website: megtherhn.com

 

The social medias: @megtherhn (I am most active on Instagram)

 

The podcast: The Nourished Podcast

 

Or you can contact me directly at megtherhn@gmail.com!

 

 

OTHER ARTICLES YOU MAY LIKE:

Do Calories Matter? (weight loss on a whole food lifestyle)

Keto vs. Paleo

TLC Challenge: Two Weeks To Lasting Healthy Habits